I recently read this article about a senior missionary who was able to use his talents, through the Lord’s inspiration, to bless another faithful servant. A comment at the end of the article caught my attention. In essence, the person stated doubt about God’s interest in our individual lives and circumstances, and the degree to which He is involved. I was immediately reminded of a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar in 2005 as a newly called Apostle. In the talk he stated:
This afternoon I want to describe and discuss a spiritual impression I received a few moments before I stepped to this pulpit during the Sunday morning session of general conference last October. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf had just finished speaking and had declared his powerful witness of the Savior. Then we all stood together to sing the intermediate hymn that previously had been announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley. The intermediate hymn that morning was “Redeemer of Israel” (Hymns, no. 6).
Now, the music for the various conference sessions had been determined many weeks before—and obviously long before my new call to serve. If, however, I had been invited to suggest an intermediate hymn for that particular session of the conference—a hymn that would have been both edifying and spiritually soothing for me and for the congregation before my first address in this Conference Center—I would have selected my favorite hymn, “Redeemer of Israel.” Tears filled my eyes as I stood with you to sing that stirring hymn of the Restoration.
Near the conclusion of the singing, to my mind came this verse from the Book of Mormon: “But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Ne. 1:20).
My mind was drawn immediately to Nephi’s phrase “the tender mercies of the Lord,” and I knew in that very moment I was experiencing just such a tender mercy. A loving Savior was sending me a most personal and timely message of comfort and reassurance through a hymn selected weeks previously. Some may count this experience as simply a nice coincidence, but I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.
I know that God knows each of us personally and will be involved in specific circumstances in our lives. I also believe that we fail to see many of those tender mercies. Elder Bednar also said:
Each of us can have eyes to see clearly and ears to hear distinctly the tender mercies of the Lord as they strengthen and assist us in these latter days.
I hope that you will believe in a God who knows you personally, cares about your circumstances and is eager to send His tender mercies to you. Through your faithfulness you will be blessed to see what God has done for you and feel an even deeper and abiding love for Him.